The Security Project, a touring band that takes a creative and reverential approach to the music by Peter Gabriel, will come to Vashon for a show at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 18, at Open Space for Arts & Community.
The group includes Jerry Marotta, Gabriel’s drummer from 1977-1986; Trey Gunn from King Crimson on a 10-string touch guitar, and Michael Cozzi of Shriekback and Sky Cries Mary on guitar. Singer Happy Rhodes is a new addition — she’ll bring her four-octave range to the performance. Computer scientist David Jameson will play keyboards and the Eigen harp, an electronic instrument that is, in essence, a highly flexible and portable controller, with the sound being generated in the software it drives.
Gunn says they aim to recreate some of the mystery from Gabriel’s original productions of each piece as they apply the newer musical technology available to them today. They’ll perform versions of “Lay Your Hands On Me,” “San Jacinto” and “No Self Control” in the spirit of Gabriel’s own penchant for reinventing his music while maintaining the drama of the originals.
Another approach they use, according to Gunn, is to “consider the original recording like a sketch of an idea.” That, he says, is Gabriel’s interpretation of the idea. Gunn says they look underneath the sounds and the lyrics for a new way to set the music.
Consequently, he says, some of this band’s versions differ quite radically from the original. Also, says Gunn, vocalist Rhodes’ rich and powerful voice brings new life to the material.
“Originally,” says Gunn, “both Jerry (Marotta) and I thought it wouldn’t work. We were both hesitant to mess with this material. But we love playing together and were often discussing how we could do that.”
Once they listened to a few recordings of their reinterpretations, they decided it was too good not to take it further. More than four recordings and multiple global tours later, it’s definitely gone further.
What does the master himself think? Marotta quotes Gabriel as saying, “You are not a cover band or a tribute band. You are artists taking this material in a new direction.”
As part of the evening’s performance, Marotta will share more stories of his time with Peter Gabriel.
“Peter was always great at setting the table for us as musicians; he always got us started with great ideas,” he said. “I’m proud that with Security Project, we’re able to deliver the deepest of those songs, and do it with real conviction by playing them live.”
The doors will open at 7 p.m. for the show. Tickets, on sale now at www.openspacevashon.com, are $20 in advance; $25 at the door and $35 for a table seat.